• Bronchoscopy Research Grant

The Intuitive Foundation grant program is accepting applications for Clinical Research Grants for related to the impact of robotic-assisted bronchoscopy on clinical care in 2024-2025.

Overview: The purpose of these grants is to support clinical research at non-profit institutions worldwide focused on the effect of robotic-assisted bronchoscopy in the clinical care of patients with pulmonary disease.  Successful proposals will study important questions related to the impacts robotic-assisted bronchoscopy disease and patient outcomes.

Available Grants:

Applicants may apply for grant funding total costs up to $75,000 (US) per project.

Grant funds can be used to support salaries for statisticians, lab technicians, fellows, research coordinators, and other support personnel. Funds can cover equipment, supplies, and/or travel required to support the proposed research project for a period of up to one year. Funding may not be used to support physician salaries.

Research Areas of Interest

The Intuitive Foundation has identified key research areas of interest for the 2024-2025 clinical grant programs. Principal Investigators are encouraged –  although not required – to submit proposals that fall into one or more of the following areas:

Clinical Outcomes-Based Research 

Research related to clinical outcomes for robotic-assisted bronchoscopy procedures including but not limited to comparative studies between robotics and alternate modalities or therapies. Examples of the clinical impact of robotic assisted bronchoscopy include:

  • Changing the time until diagnosis (imaging to pathology/treatment) vs traditional pathways.
  • The number of procedures needed for diagnosis and impact on patient risk and care.
  • Tissue acquisition and molecular marker identification.
  • The use of robotic-assisted bronchoscopy in the diagnosis of benign diseases of the lung.
  • Proposals related to improved procedural efficiency and/or diagnostic yield, and reduction in adverse event rates.

Imaging, Vision and/or Navigational Research 

Research focused on enhanced use of advanced imaging modalities and effect on the performance of procedures. Examples include:

  • The application of various imaging modalities affecting planning and performance of procedures.
  • Integration of advanced techniques, including but not limited to cone-beam CT scanning, radial endobronchial ultrasound, and fluoroscopic tomography in the guidance for improved diagnosis and safety of patients and staff.

Health Economic and Outcomes Research including Cost-effectiveness and Quality of Life Studies related to Robotic-assisted Bronchoscopy

Research related to local services utilization, clinical and economic burden of the disease, cost of care, and research focused on quality of life or utilities related to care. Examples include:

  • Patient care pathway or epidemiological studies on clinical and economic burden of illness.
  • Economic impact of early vs. late disease diagnosis on healthcare systems.
  • Patient/clinician-reported outcomes, quality of life, health utilities.
  • Cost-effectiveness modeling incorporated local services utilization and costs from local data sources (not from the literature).
  • Ergonomic effects of longtime traditional bronchoscopic techniques vs. robotic-assisted bronchoscopy.

The Intuitive Foundation strongly recommends that research within this category include a health economist as a part of the research team. Please identify this individual in the capabilities section of the grant submission.

New Procedure Exploration and Development Research 

Research focused on the use of robotic-assisted bronchoscopy in conjunction with emerging technologies leading to improved safety or outcomes of patients with pulmonary disease.  Please note that research conducted on human subjects may require applicable authorizations or favorable opinions from any relevant authorities, such as governmental and medical institution authorities, prior to funding.

Application Guidelines

Selection Process: Applicants must first submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to Propose as detailed below. Grant LOIs will be reviewed and ranked by a selection committee. LOIs reaching a predetermined scoring threshold will be invited to submit a full grant proposal. All LOIs, as well as invited full grant applications, will be reviewed, and scored on the following criteria:

  • Clarity of research goals and objectives
  • Novelty (building on existing literature)
  • Clinical relevance and value
  • Evidence of feasibility
  • Strength of evaluation methods and measures including statistical power analysis as appropriate
  • Availability of required resources
  • Appropriately defined research scope, timeline, and budget

LOIs and full grant proposals will be handled in a confidential manner and will not be distributed beyond the Intuitive Foundation’s grant selection committee. Due to the expected volume of proposals, the foundation regrets that its committee will not be able to provide detailed individualized feedback on unsuccessful grant proposals.

LOI Guidelines: A LOI to propose should be submitted by all grant applicants. Submissions should consist of five parts:

  • Summary: one- or two-sentence proposal overview.
  • Description of Problem/Background.
  • Purpose, Hypothesis, and Methods of Research.
  • Capabilities: Indicate the identities, capabilities, and credentials of investigators as well as any participating institution. Include contact information for principal investigator.
  • Budget: Include a specific request for funds that includes permanent hard equipment, statistical analyses, consumable equipment, salaries to staff, and other direct expenses. No more than 20% of the total budget can be allocated for indirect costs. Funds from the grant may not be used to purchase equipment or instruments from Intuitive Surgical.
    • Hard equipment purchases should not exceed $5,000.
    • The budget should not include salaries for physicians, although salaries for statisticians, lab technicians, fellows, and other support personnel may be included.

Deadlines for All Clinical Research Grants:

Grant Cycle for Funding in January 2025:

  • Interested applicants should submit a Letter of Intent by June 7, 2024. Invitations to submit full grant applications will be sent by the week of July 15, 2024 (this invitation will include grant application guidelines and forms).
  • The deadline for submitting a full, invited grant application is August 30, 2024. Only complete application packets will be considered. Awardees will be notified during the week of Nov. 11, 2024. Grant monies must be used to support research expenses during the 2025 calendar year.
  • Multiple grants will not be funded simultaneously to any principal investigator.
  • Multiple grants to the same institution for different principal investigators will be considered.
  • Awards must be used to fund research at not-for-profit institutions. Grants are not to be used to fund for-profit activities.
  • Grants are awarded to principal investigators at their institution. If there are any changes in the principal investigator or group’s ability to conduct the proposed research, the Intuitive Foundation reserves the right to reconsider the award.
  • Grant funding must be used to support research expenses and activities, which occur from Jan. 1, 2024 through Dec. 31, 2025 only.
  • Total costs may include no more than 20% indirect costs and the total budget, including both direct costs, indirect costs, and any applicable taxes, should not exceed $75,000 (US).
  • Grantees may be invited to present their work at our headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, (travel costs covered by the Intuitive Foundation).
  • All applicants selected to receive a grant are required to submit a mid-year progress report, as well as a final status report that details study results and conclusions.
  • If the funded project does not take place, all monies awarded will be refunded to the Intuitive Foundation, and any loaned equipment will be promptly returned to the lender of the equipment. If the project is terminated early, then a partial refund, with an accounting of the funds expended up to the termination date, will be provided by the principal investigator. Any unused funds as of Dec. 31, 2025 will be refunded to the Intuitive Foundation.

Please email grants@intuitive-foundation.org with questions regarding the grant process.